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Ready, Set, Ruff! High School Track Team Turns Practice into Fun Runs with Anxious Shelter Dogs

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Source: Humane Society of Tampa Bay/Facebook

Track has gone to the dogs!

Or at least the cross-country track team at Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Florida, seems to have a surprising number of canine runners.

These light-footed pups aren’t permanent members of the team, but instead visiting talent from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

According to the shelter, the high school athletes make a point of swinging by the rescue before their early morning training runs to pick up pooches eager to stretch their legs.

Source: Humane Society of Tampa Bay/Facebook

This chance to soar through the outdoors is a welcomed treat to rescue dogs still adjusting to life at the shelter.

“For high-energy, highly intelligent dogs like Jasper, shelter life can quickly become stressful and their mental health suffers. Because of the kindness of these young men, Jasper is getting the exercise and mental stimulation he needs to remain healthy while he looks for his forever family,” the Humane Society of Tampa Bay posted to its Facebook along with photos of the “Boss Cross” boys jogging alongside an ecstatic Jasper.

Source: Humane Society of Tampa Bay/Facebook

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Along with Jasper, the team has brought several other shelter dogs to training over the past couple days, starting an adorable tradition of paws pounding the pavement that has everyone smiling.

Staff at the shelter is also appreciative for the additional exposure these outings provide. More time out in the real world exercising with friends, means more opportunities for these dogs to meet and charm prospective pet parents. In fact, thanks to these runs, Jasper has found his forever home with a Steinbrenner High School alumni.